Archive for Sunday, February 16, 1997


February 16, 1997


A proposal for a $1.7 million ice rink in western Lawrence will be up for consideration by Lawrence city commissioners Tuesday night.

The project, proposed by CrystalSport Inc., has received guarded encouragement from commissioners in recent weeks, but Tuesday's meeting will add a few numbers to the mix.

Charles Jones, president of CrystalSport, wants the city to provide rent-free land, street access and utilities. In exchange, the city would receive free ice time for city recreation programs and other opportunities for underprivileged youths.

To get the public-private partnership rolling, city staffers estimate that the city would have to pay:

  • $315,000 for a new road, 18th Street, to connect Wakarusa Drive with the proposed rink site behind the Clinton Water Treatment Plant.
  • $25,000 for a security fence.

City Manager Mike Wildgen said he assumed that extending waterlines and sewers would be financed by CrystalSport, not the city.

Tuesday night, commissioners will consider having staffers draw up a draft lease agreement with CrystalSport.

city background

CrystalSport's plans for a 150-seat ice rink for ice hockey, figure skating and other activities has been in the works for several months. Lawrence city commissioners heard Jones' proposal last month, but wanted to hold off on a decision until the city's Parks and Recreation Advisory Board had a chance to consider the plan.

The board met Feb. 11.

During that meeting, the board voted unanimously "not to oppose this public/private concept for a community ice rink," said Fred DeVictor, the city's parks and recreation director.

The board did, however, want to urge commissioners to "study and move cautiously" in weighing Jones' proposal.

"Of particular interest was to gain equal time for city use of the facility in place of the value of city land," DeVictor said, in a memo to Wildgen.

The public perception of the current proposal, DeVictor said, may be that the city would help expose the public by teaching skating during the summer months at nominal fees, then require those people to pay much higher fees to pursue their interests during non-summer months and peak seasons.

Other business

  • Proclaim March "Inhalant Awareness Month"; Feb. 17-21 "National TRIO Week"; and Feb. 21 "National TRIO Day."
  • Approve drinking establishment licenses for nine restaurants and clubs, including Langston's, 804 W. 24th, where a security guard was shot outside early Thursday morning. Police reported a threat of violence there last month, and a current murder trial involves a killing outside the club six months ago. City Manager Mike Wildgen said commissioners could revoke Langston's license if they decided the business contributed to a consistent danger to the public health, safety or welfare.
  • Approve retail liquor licenses for two businesses: Ray's Liquor Warehouse, 1215 W. Sixth, and Ray's Discount Wine & Spirits, 2100 W. 25th.
  • Approve appointment of Kay Huff to the Douglas County Community Corrections Advisory Board.
  • Set a 2 p.m. March 4 deadline for bids on several rehabilitation projects for water lines: along Barker Avenue, between 19th and 23rd streets; Louisiana Street, between Fifth and Eighth streets; West Sixth Street, between Tennessee and Indiana streets; North Seventh Street, between Lincoln and North streets; and Pennsylvania Street, between 13th and 14th streets.
  • Approve an ordinance, on its second of three readings, to grant a franchise agreement to Southwestern Bell Telephone Co.
  • Approve ordinances, on final reading, to add the McAllaster Residence, 724 R.I., to the Lawrence Register of Historic Places; and establish requirements for the use of the city's rights-of-way.
  • Approve an ordinance, on first reading, to approve proposed charges on the city's monthly utility bills for financing drainage projects and stormwater maintenance. Commissioners endorsed the fees Feb. 11.
  • Approve an ordinance, on first reading, to annex 0.7 acre south of West 27th Street for Wakarusa Valley Estates.
  • Approve an ordinance, on first reading, to repeal a 1973 ordinance that would have changed the name of Wagon Wheel Road (between Longhorn and Tomahawk drives) to Frontier Road. The name change was never implemented, and city staffers now believe that changing the road's name would cause more trouble than it's worth.
  • Agree not to change an agreement with Jefferson County Rural District No. 13, which allows the district to buy water on an emergency basis from the city of Lawrence. The district has reached an agreement with McLouth, to sell the city up to 72,000 gallons of water per day for 20 years.
  • Agree to pay $22,543 to Gerald Dwyer for displacement of his farming operations near Clinton Lake. Dwyer has leased land from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for farming. The city then leased the land for recreational purposes, and told the corps to terminate Dwyer's lease for 106 acres. The land was needed for construction of a municipal golf course. The city intended to pay Dwyer $13,161, but negotiations with corps officials led to a settlement of $22,543. As stipulated in the corps' lease with the city, the city must pick up the tab.
  • Consider not ticketing people who park for more than two hours in the city's two-hour "free" lot in the 1000 block of Vermont Street during a parking lot resurfacing project this April at the Judicial and Law Enforcement Center, 111 E. 11th. Douglas County officials anticipate paving the lots surrounding the center and Douglas County Courthouse in April, and are looking for other places for employees to park without getting tickets.
  • Approve a site plan for Boston Market, to be located at 544 W. 23rd (formerly Valentino's).
  • Receive a letter and comments from Angie Blair proposing city regulations for contractors regarding lead abatement.
  • Conduct a public hearing regarding the proposed demolition of a home at 936 N.H., which is owned by the Salvation Army. For the group's requested demolition to proceed, commissioners would have to determine that no "feasible or prudent alternative" to demolition exists. The vacant house is located within the environs of the historic Shalor Eldridge Residence, 945 R.I.
  • Receive and discuss a report from Chance Management Advisors Inc. -- the city's transit consultants -- regarding transit alternatives available to the city of Lawrence.
  • Receive a request from Douglas County Development Inc. regarding public improvements at the East Hills Business Park. National Computer Systems wants to locate a new 50,000-square-foot building at the park, so that the company may relocate from leased space in western Lawrence. The development company wants the city to help pay for public improvements, estimated to cost $770,000.
  • Recess the meeting until 4:30 p.m. Feb. 19, when commissioners would conduct the annual evaluation for City Manager Mike Wildgen.

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